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Alejano says Duterte reading Marcos’ martial law playbook

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Magdalo partylist Rep. Gary Alejano said the public should watch out for purported plans to do away with the 2019 midterm elections to pave the way for the switch to a federal system of government.

“That transitory provision of a federal constitution is what the people should watch out for,” he said in a statement.

“Duterte would now be able to achieve absolute power, which he hoped for in a revolutionary government, legally,” the Magnificent 7 lawmaker said.

Alejano said one of the versions of a proposed new Constitution being deliberated in the House of the Representatives contains a transitory provision which dissolves Congress and bestows legislative powers to the president until such time that the federal assembly is constituted.

“The transition period, however, could last for years as what Marcos did in the 1973 Constitution’s transitory provision,” he warned.

“We would see a repeat of Marcos as we are seeing many similarities already. Duterte is certainly reading Marcos’ playbook,” Alejano said.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said earlier Wednesday that there may be no elections in May 2019 if the public approves the move to go federal in a plebiscite in May this year.

He said Congress may include transitory provisions in the pending bill paving the way for the shift from a unitary system of government to a federal one.

Thus, if Filipinos approve the shift to federalism in a plebiscite coinciding with the 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, then there may be no need to hold the national midterm elections in 2019, as the transitioning officials will remain in power.

Alvarez said this will depend on what transitory provisions will be agreed upon when Congress convenes itself into a Constituent Assembly to introduce amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

“So parang yung kay Cory… Constitution… may transitory provision, nakalagay doon na yung mga elected officials na mag-eexpire yung term, hindi ba, kung kailan sila due for elections… iba-iba, so depende talaga iyan kung ano yung mapagkakasunduan doon sa Constituent Assembly,” he said.